Emeritus Professor Duncan Mitchell
Honorary Professional Research Fellow, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
Adjunct Professor, University of Western Australia
Emeritus Professor Duncan Mitchell’s 50-year research career in thermal physiology began in the South African gold mines, helping to ensure the welfare of miners working at high wet-bulb temperatures more than 3km underground. After three years at the National Institute for Medical Research in the UK, working on somatosensory physiology and on fever, he joined the University of the Witwatersrand in 1975. When he “retired” in 2006, he was Director of the University’s Brain Function Research Group, with research programmes in conservation physiology, fever physiology, pathophysiology of HIV-related pain and in sleep physiology. His research in conservation physiology started in the 1980s, when it focussed on lizards and beetles in the Namib Desert. More recently its main focus has been on the large terrestrial mammals of the arid zones. He and his research colleagues in South Africa, Australia and Germany have employed biologgers implanted in mammals living free in their natural habitats, to investigate the latent physiological talents that may help long-lived mammals, including vervet monkeys, Angora goats, Arabian oryx, aardvark and elephants, cope phenotypically with the now-inevitable consequences of climate change. He was awarded the 2010 Harry Oppenheimer Fellowship, Africa’s most-prestigious award for an individual researcher.
Abstracts this author is presenting: